Return Engagements (Book One) PART 28… in which I try to understand

I was back in bed an hour after arriving and starting my notes, as 2016 caught me again. I got up a little late the next morning and spent a long time explaining the experience to my wife. She wasn’t sure what to think but encouraged me to write about it.

Picking up from Part 27, in which I returned home.

I was back in bed an hour after arriving and starting my notes, as 2016 caught me again.

I got up a little late the next morning and spent a long time explaining the experience to my wife. She wasn’t sure what to think but encouraged me to write about it. I hugged or called everyone else as circumstances permitted, then went back to my notes and wondered what would become of it all.

A few days later, before I was even settled back into 2016, I seemed to get my answer when the British voted to leave the European Union, against what seemed to be all odds.

But it wasn’t the politics of it that made me think that this was affected by my experience. Rather, it was because Brexit was an anti-establishment movement. What had happened in my alternate world wasn’t about politics, but the discrediting of a blindly worshipped status quo.

This possibility received further confirmation over the ensuing weeks, as I saw Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, surging in the Democratic Party’s presidential race, and Donald Trump, however I might characterize him, surging to the head of the Republican race. Both of these were strongly anti-status-quo candidates, and the public was clearly moving toward them.

Then of course was the election of Mr. Trump, which surprised most of the world.

As I write this in 2018 I am certain that what people called a “populist” surge (including a major Italian referendum in December of 2016) was actually an anti-establishment surge. More than that, I think it was influenced by my trip to 1963. I have no way to be certain about such a thing of course, but that’s my opinion just the same.

What remains to be seen are the long-term effects of this rejection of the status quo. That masses of people are still talking about the deep state and “draining the swamp” is, I think, some indication that it is continuing. And from my perspective, that’s a fairly good thing.

But as it was in the aftermath of the Johnson-Hoover coup, it’s crucial that this surge not spill over into hate. Politics always leans that way of course, but keeping people on the better side of it is crucial. If we stay away from that poison, beneficial changes will follow; if we pass over to hate, the changes we desire will be corrupted before they are born.

* * * * *

Beyond that, I carry the effects of the trip in myself.

After I had been back for some months I searched for Michael’s journals. Mike Jr. died years ago, but I did find his son, now an old man. (I wore a hat and tried to change my appearance so he didn’t recognize me from the Christmas dinners, but his memory seemed to be spotty. It may not have mattered anyway.) I made up a story about Mike being my grandfather’s friend and his showing me a journal as a boy. He knew nothing about the journals and guessed that they were lost when his mom passed and they sold her house.

All that remains of Michael Burroughs’ journals is what I retain in my memories.

Ashkenaz, my hangout for 1964, vanished long ago, and my Roundtable friends are long gone as well of course.

La Villita is still centered on 26th Street, and there is still a Mexican community there, but all the restaurants and stores have changed. It’s pretty far off my usual path, and I get my Mexican food in other places now.

It pains me to see people treat the Warren Report as gospel and anything else as a “conspiracy theory.” That had always bothered me (it’s an appeal to authority weaponized with ridicule), but much more so now. The arrogance of it… the willful blindness of it… I try to stay away from the subject.

As time passes, my trip through 1963, 1964 and 1965 becomes more and more just a bygone passage of my life, a lot like 1981, 1982 and 1983. I liked it, learned from it, and incorporated it into myself. Now it’s just an extra set of experiences.

I learned from my other-worldly friends of course, but it wasn’t the things they said that stuck with me. Rather, it was their attitudes, how they saw the things of this world as trivialities and the things within us as important and enduring. And while I don’t dwell on those things in any analytical sense, I feel like they’re changing me from the inside.

And perhaps that’s the way growth has to happen.

* * * * *

 (Available now on Kindle)

The Eruption of the Shills

Shills

shill: A person paid to endorse a product favorably, while pretending to be impartial.

If ever you wanted confirmation that ruling structures are biased toward conflict, you got it over the past two days.

If ever you wanted confirmation that public intellectuals jump to obey power, you got it over the past two days.

As much as I avoid the bullhorns from New York and DC, I couldn’t escape them this time. Evidently Donald Trump had a summit with Vladimir Putin and uttered unspeakable words. After Putin denied interfering in the 2016 election, Trump said this:

He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.

And from that, all hell broke loose.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly held his own press conference and said:

I have said a number of times, I’ll say it again: The Russians are not our friends. And I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, in bizarre form, reported that Trump looked like “a little wet noodle.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan raged that “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki… was… treasonous… he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

On and on it went, including shills from both the Blue and Red teams.

At first I tried to verify exactly what it was they were all freaking out about, with limited success. And then I saw that the words themselves were a secondary factor, as George Will explained:

What, precisely, did President Trump say about the diametrically opposed statements by U.S. intelligence agencies (and the Senate Intelligence Committee) and by Putin concerning Russia and the 2016 U.S. elections? Precision is not part of Trump’s repertoire: He speaks English as though it is a second language that he learned from someone who learned English last week. So, it is usually difficult to sift meanings from Trump’s word salads. But in Helsinki he was, for him, crystal clear about feeling no allegiance to the intelligence institutions that work at his direction and under leaders he chose.

I could go on, but there’s no point. You’ve doubtless seen this yourself. The key takeaway is that saying anything the military-security complex doesn’t like is considered treasonous. And let’s be clear: All Trump did was say a few words. There was no policy change, only a short comment that he didn’t see why the Russians would do such a thing. That’s almost trivial. But it set the military-security complex into hysterics. So much so that even such a person as Donald Trump was forced to issue a lame retraction.

So, how much pressure can the “forever war” complex place on even the highest officials? Evidently quite a lot.

And by the way, the evidence is clear that the Russians did not hack the Democratic National Committee.

So…

What this means is that the system – the dominating structure of our time – is fully committed to threat, fear, and war. Peaceful overtures are not acceptable.

The high and mighty are drunk on power. Again.

So be clear on this: These structures, by their very nature…

will always draw the corrupt and corruptible,

will always reward sycophants and shills,

will always be obsessed with control and threat, and

will always send children to kill and die.

This is what they have been for 6,000 years.

This is what they are.

This is what they will remain, so long as we feed them.

* * * * *

As it turns out, history was never too hard to understand; they just told you the wrong story.

Comments from readers:

“This is the most amazing little book I have read on history in 36 years of reading history.”

“It will change the way you look at nearly everything.”

“I will flat out say that this is the best history book I have ever read… I am fairly well read, but I learned a tremendous amount that I hadn’t known before or hadn’t aligned so that it made sense.”

“This is the best and clearest description of the history of Western civilization I have ever read.”

“Packed with insights on every page concerning how the world came to be the way it is and what we might expect in the future.”

Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Civil War and the Status Quo

StatusQuo

We’ve all been hearing fears of civil war in America recently, and while I think those fears are overblown (as fears generally are), I want to address something that doesn’t make the news feeds:

the fact that we can take this question seriously exposes a sick, degenerate status quo.

We need to be clear on this point.

Arguments Pro and Con

I don’t believe civil war will come to America on any serious scale. My reason is a simple one:

I can see 5,000 hard leftists and 5,000 hard rightists going out to kill each other, but I can’t see my neighbors pulling their guns down from their attics, dusting them off, and running out to shoot people across town.

Only the most irrational and agitated people kill over politics. Average people may waste oceans of time and money on politics, but they do not stab and shoot those who disagree.

Jonathan Logan, however (my co-author for The New Age of Intelligence), sees it differently. He makes a thoughtful, informed argument for civil war, and I think it’s worth passing along. I’ll have to summarize:

  • For young people to be susceptible to war (and it’s the young, not the old, who fight), they must not be too settled, not too invested, not too satisfied, not too stable. And they must be dragged in by some motive, be it “making a name for themselves” or “fighting evil” or whatever.

  • Few young people in the West are willing to fight “for my country.” (Approximately 12% in Germany and 20% in the US.) But when you ask if they would participate in riots against an unjust political order, the numbers shoot up. In Germany, it’s 66%; in the US, it’s about 60%.

  • For a civil war to break out, enough people must perceive the current situation as unbearable and be willing to use violence.

  • The police must be unable or unwilling to keep the two sides apart.

That’s the theory. Here are Jonathan’s observation:

  • There’s a growing inability of “cultural progressives” and “cultural conservatives” to engage in dialog.

  • For a long time the “cultural progressives” had success after success. That led to the internal perception that they were not just right but also absolutely right… that only stupid hicks stood in their way.

  • Meanwhile, the “cultural conservatives” grew dissatisfied. They were pushed to the point where they had a hard time tolerating some of the things that went on.

  • Then came Brexit and Trump. Before those, progressives were absolutely convinced that they were right, that they would win, and that the future would be bright. This wasn’t just an assumption; it was a conviction… like the sun rising tomorrow morning. And then they learned that they were wrong. That was more than just an unexpected failure; it destroyed their world perception.

  • The result is widespread post-traumatic stress disorder. The progressives didn’t just lose; they were traumatized. They now experience anything not 100% on their side as being violent, hurtful, triggering. Their way to deal with this is to push more, to become more radical, to accept less compromise. They feel that everyone else is actually trying to kill them.

  • At the same time the cultural conservatives experienced something new: victory. Previously they had only lost. Still, when they see new pushes from the progressives, they remember all the times they were beaten, and they feel pushed back into a corner.

  • So, we have two groups, pushed into corners, and between them is… nothing. They are deeply polarized and don’t have anything in common anymore.

  • And the problem is… it’s the Millennials, a generation that knows they can expect nothing from the status quo. Furthermore, they lack tools for conflict resolution. Their generation is split between progressives and conservatives. And because they are neither the largest nor the most influential generation, they have no way to implement anything.

  • From this we get people on the progressive side who must radicalize, who must destroy the other side. If you look at the various progressive protests and riots, that’s exactly what you see. They are desperate, hurting, hating… and feeling righteous all the while.

  • Concurrently, the conservatives are becoming afraid. They think that if this thing on the progressive side doesn’t calm down, they’ll have to defend themselves.

  • If these movements continue, Millennial conservatives and Millennial progressives will pull out clubs and knives.

  • At the same time, the police – because of the progressive/conservative stalemate in politics – are unable to decisively take sides.

  • That’s how you start a civil war.

My Thoughts

While I think Jonathan makes important points, I think, and certainly hope, the people who are currently so polarized will recover themselves and leave the paranoid extremes. (As we were waiting to publish, this wonderful letter came in, seeking to pull young people back to reason. I complain about academia plenty, but the professors who authored this get my heartfelt thanks.)

Here’s something I wrote a month or so after Trump’s election (and Brexit):

Where is the cool head that says something sensible? Perhaps like this: “Listen boys, this isn’t worth tearing the county apart over. We may not like Trump, but he cares about this country in his own way, and he’ll work four years to reach his goals. He’s not going to sell nukes to terrorists, and he’s not out to conquer the world. Let him have his turn.”

The failure of my generation is that such cool-headed people are absent from the public stage.

The sin of the media complex is that they’re stirring this up for ratings. If civil war does come, they will be the true villains.

As those of us of a certain age used to say, “It’s time to split this scene.” Politics is poison and rulership is barbarity. It’s time to dump the status quo and to start building something better.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

The Elite et al. vs. Trump et al

elitevstramp

December 13, 2016

I thought I’d never write about current events at Free-Man’s Perspective. My interests lie in human development, not in the daily crap-fights of politics. Recent events, however, have forced me to reconsider.

What finally changed my mind was a story that broke Friday evening in which the CIA claims Russia intervened in the US election, because Putin wanted Trump to win and Hillary to lose. The story was subsequently reported far and wide.

There are several serious problems with this story. First of all, it’s another in a well-promoted and international series of stories on “fake news.” Even the Pope has chimed in on this, using shocking (disgusting) terms. People with serious influence are behind these stories, and that’s unsettling.

Second, this was supposedly a “secret CIA report.” And that, my good reader, is simply BS. The only truly “leaked” reports come to us via Wikileaks, Anonymous, or underground groups of that sort. “CIA leaks” that come to you via the Washington Post are simply things the CIA wants you to see. You wanna bet there’s no whistleblower hiding in Russia over this one?

Let me put it this way: If the FBI and CIA don’t hunt down the person who divulged this “secret report,” it was an authorized release. You’re being misled on purpose.

Now, getting back to the story, let’s note that there is zero evidence given. Just “it was a secret report, trust us.” Not one of the “officials” is named.

It should also be noted that Julian Assange has flatly denied that Russia was the source of the leaks. And Assange, unlike 99% of all Washington, has a reputation for truth-telling.

There were earlier reports blaming Russia for the Wikileaks hacks, and they, likewise, provided zero evidence. They say things like “consistent with Russian methods,” implying, it would seem, that Russia has some kind of patent on hacking techniques. They expect us to believe that Putin’s crews run their hacks from Russian companies and Russian IP addresses.

Let me be clear on this: No actual Russian hacker would attack from a Russian address. Furthermore, Russian hackers have no exclusive methods that other hackers couldn’t use. Those who imply such things are counting on you being too ignorant to see through their BS and too blinded by authority to question them.

Where’s This Going?

This is what scares me. What we’re seeing is an elite class unable to complete their revolution. Brexit, Trump, Renzi’s Italian loss, and other events have turned the tide against mindless Western obedience. People no longer trust their “news outlets,” and average people are coming to realize that the elites are malignant. This is the actual reason for all the stories of “fake news.”

Perhaps the Washington Post’s new story was published to undermine Trump’s legitimacy, so he’s easier to dispose of as soon as he does something unpopular. Or perhaps the goal is to get very nasty and manipulate the electoral college, which meets December 19.

At a minimum, this is a setup for a war between Trump and the CIA. In response to the story, Donald Trump did what you’d expect him to do; he lashed back. A statement from the Trump Transition Team reads, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” And you can bet Donald won’t forget this episode.

Wars between the White House and the CIA, however, are scary by themselves. The last president to turn against the CIA was John F. Kennedy.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com